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help on ending it--the relationship, that is

Old 12-17-2010, 09:14 PM
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help on ending it--the relationship, that is

Hi everyone,

So my AH has been gone for about four months now. He went to stay with some family halfway across the country. For the first three months he was gone, I was still so angry at him that I never thought about him coming back. Then around Thanksgiving I got lonely and thought it might be good for him to come back.

My requirements were that he had to attend 30 AA meetings before he could come back, and then he had to go straight to inpatient.

After three AA meetings, he went on a bender. He then found out he could see a free community counselor in his area. I told him to feel free to replace AA with the counselor.

One week later, I am wondering why I was so willing to let him come back. He is unemployed and on my health insurance, and so I feel obligated to help him. But in the real world, he can get a job and insurance, right?!?

I think what I have decided is that I cannot handle this as a relationship anymore. I love him and want to help him get help, but I am just exhausted thinking about our "relationship."

I am still thinking long and hard about this, but I think I am going to tell him it is really over after the new year. I don't want to tell him this during the holidays. It also sucks because I will have to do this over the phone. Oh, and I have been paying his bills. He is living off a credit card and is about to max it out and I am paying that and a few other of his bills. I can't do this anymore after December. I have to tell him that as well.

So anyway, does anyone have any advice on how to deal with the horrible guilt that comes with this? I fear that he will hurt himself (worse than he already is), and that it will be my fault.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:49 AM
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phlegmatic, "Let Go and Let God!"

Letting Go . . .

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.

To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.

To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To “let go” is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality.

To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.

To “let go” it not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings, and correct them.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To “let go” is to fear less, and love more.

Author Unknown.

Love and Peace,
Phoenix
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:54 AM
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Thank you both. The guilt is the worst right now. I feel guilty because the last time we talked I was feeling more positive about things and was helping him plan to come back. I feel guilty because he doesn't know that I have decided to try to move on and I don't want him to come back. I feel guilty because I feel like I have to help him.

I am trying to remember that in "the real world" (aka non-alcoholic world) if anyone did what he did the relationship would have been over a long time ago. That treatment centers exist where he lives and he can get help there if he tries.

It's just hard...the guilt is the worst.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:00 AM
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Boy do I understand the guilt thing. I would always feel sorry for him and give in. Did it for years.

What helped me is I decided, "Enough!" I need a break. From everyone and everything. And that anytime anyone, not just him, was trying to get some needs met out of me that they could get from someplace else or do for themselves, I can't extend help to that because I need to concentrate on myself for my own sanity. So since ending the relationship, anytime he's tried to get something out of me even if it's just attention, I asked, "Will this stress me out? Will this hurt me?" If the answer is yes, I don't do it. Even a while back he asked me to attend his first AA meeting with him (which I believe was partial manipulation) and the night before I lay in bed not being able to sleep and stressing about it and I realized, "My life has been so calm and I'm already stressed out again...after this I have to keep him cut out." If my ex came to me and wanted to get sober and REALLY commit to a program and counseling, I'd talk to him and help. But as for anything else, I'm staying NC and No help of any kind.

Don't feel guilty. Take care of yourself. No one else will.

Last edited by goldengirl3; 12-18-2010 at 09:00 AM. Reason: Don't feel guilty. Take care of yourself. No one else will.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
If my ex came to me and wanted to get sober and REALLY commit to a program and counseling, I'd talk to him and help. But as for anything else, I'm staying NC and No help of any kind.
I need to keep this in mind. I am the one who has been pushing treatment, and I know he doesn't want to go. I think he just wants to come back because he likes living with me better than living with his parents. He did seek out the counselor on his own, but he hasn't done anything about looking into treatment.

I am trying to stay NC but I do email him with financial updates (your CC is about to max out, your medical bills are about to go to collection, etc.).

I do want to tell him I have decided to move on, but I am going to wait until after the holidays. Not that either of us really care about the holidays, but just to make it less crappy.
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:08 PM
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Sorry to re-repost, but I keep obsessing over this. It is not wrong of me to want to move on even though he needs help, right?

I am so worried about "kicking him when he's down" since he is unemployed and just living with his family (even though his stuff is all here).

I also wonder if I am doing right or wrong since so many people on SR talk about staying with their A. Am I supposed to stay with him? I can't handle staying in the relationship with my AH anymore.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:05 PM
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Think of an alcoholic or an addict like a drowning person. You can try to help them, but the problem is they will pull you under. The addiction does that. You can't help someone if you aren't helping yourself first. I think if you try to understand how the addiction pulls you under, it might help you feel less guilty.

A lot of the "help" you are doing...could be and probably is keeping him from hitting his bottom so that he will want to get well. You aren't "kicking him when he's down." You are actually helping him by not helping him anymore.

If it's really stressing you out that much, it probably makes it hard for you at work. And if it's going to affect your job...well you need that job because no one is going to take care of you instead...so you have to think of yourself and your own stress and responsibilities.

Sorry if that sounded a little rambly...these are things I remind myself to keep from feeling guilty.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:14 PM
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no, it is not wrong of you to move on even though he needs help.

you are not the person to help him. think about it, has anything you've done helped him enter recovery? in fact, our "help" only enables the disease to progress further.

if you are sure that you "can't handle staying in the relationship" any longer, than why not communicate that immediately?

otherwise, your peace will continue to be disturbed and you will have this hanging over your head. it will minimize your stress to tell him right away.

i know it is the holidays but what about your holidays? he is with his parents, he will have their support as well as the support of his counselor. he's a grown up and you not wanting to be with him is the consequences of HIS choices.

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Old 12-19-2010, 01:35 PM
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Before I moved out from living with AH, I had a tremendous amount of anxiety around the actual act of telling him that I was leaving. It wasn't all that hard to plan the move itself, and it also wasn't difficult to imagine life on my own--I was looking forward to that part. But as far as the actual conversation, the thought nearly incapacitated me. I felt scared, guilty, anxious and unsure.

But you know what? When I actually DID have the conversation with AH, I immediately felt relieved. Like all of the air finally released and I could breathe again. Now, I'm not going to lie. It was a VERY difficult thing to do. And for a couple of weeks afterward I was very upset. I wouldn't want to repeat that short time period. But it was worth it.

And now, whenever I think about going backwards, I think about how I cannot and will not repeat the anxiety and stress of having to leave. I just can't go through it twice. And if I go back, I will go through it twice. So I refuse.

I understand your thoughts about wanting to get through the holidays before you tell him. But please consider whether you want to just "get through" your life, or whether you want to really live your life. I know this is an incredibly difficult time, but be gentle with yourself. You have recognized that you do NOT have to live this way, and you have made a decision to reclaim your life. Good for you because you are worth it! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:01 PM
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Thank you all. Like I said, I kept reading other people's stories on here and was wondering if I was being horrible for leaving. I am going to go to Al-Anon today and my therapist on Tuesday and will try to figure out what to do. (I only went to Al-Anon once and hated it but I am going to try a different meeting tonight.)

And you are right, this is totally affecting my job. This is all I think about. And I need to think about work so I can do it and keep my job.

Thank you all for the insight!
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:26 PM
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You have recognized that you do NOT have to live this way, and you have made a decision to reclaim your life. Good for you because you are worth it! You are in my thoughts and prayers
This is wonderful Sasha.
Phlegmatic, please do remember you don't have to do anything.
I remember when it first really hit me that I didnt have to live like this anymore.
I was in trouble because of my drinking, I was miserable physically and emotionally, my chain of command had ordered me to rehab.
The thought occurred to me'
"I don't have to do this anymore."
I cannot explain the relief I felt. It was all out in the open, and I could get professional help.

You don't have to live this way.

Beth

PS
this also happened when my ex came pounding on my apt door one night (we were separated) he was drunk, and that same wash of warmth came over me,

"I dont have to live this way!"

yep, good stuff.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:31 PM
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I went through this same thing a few months ago. Paying his insurance while he was unemployed. Just remember that others on here know exactly what you are going through. I felt like I was "kicking him while he's down" too, but I came to realize that he was the one bringing himself down and there was no reason I should have to go down with him. When I posted a few months ago I was struggling with the fact that I wanted to end the relationship right when he found out his mom had cancer. I felt horrible, but I had this undeniable feeling that it was the right time to do it. Turns out that he was lying to me and others about his mom and she was just fine. Just proves to me that we must trust our instincts on these things.

4 months later and it's still difficult sometimes, but it's still better than living a horrible life when we want what we can't have which is "the way it used to be." That part is over...I couldn't control or cure it and I didn't cause it and it's his choice to live the way he is.

I wish you all the luck in the world and remember that people are here to help you. Do what you feel is best...it's your life!
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:14 PM
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You are not hurting him at all...

...you are hurting you-- a lot.

Please understand that I mean this in a caring way. Every single thing you do for him hurts you. And every single thing you do for him may be moving him him further away from potential recovery (some recover, some don't, but he never will as long as you continue to do things for him).

It's time for you to do something for you, and only for you. Here is one:

How to find a meeting in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico

Try six meetings, some different if you can, before deciding if it's for you. In November of 2003 Al-Anon saved my life. It can save yours too.

Here's the other:

http://www.amazon.com/Codependent-No...2883441&sr=8-1

Just like I am, it is possible you may be another poster child for co-dependancy. I did most of the things you've been doing. When I stopped my wife began her healing.

Take care, take what you want, and leave the rest.

Cyranoak
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:53 PM
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It is not wrong of me to want to move on even though he needs help, right?
No. It's not. And I second the suggestion to find an Al-Anon meeting. Because you're stuck in the "reality" created in an alcoholic marriage. And you're right. In the real world, his behavior is not something you would put up with. But we all have.

You have the right to live your life. He has the responsibility for his.
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by phlegmatic View Post
Sorry to re-repost, but I keep obsessing over this. It is not wrong of me to want to move on even though he needs help, right?

I am so worried about "kicking him when he's down" since he is unemployed and just living with his family (even though his stuff is all here).

I also wonder if I am doing right or wrong since so many people on SR talk about staying with their A. Am I supposed to stay with him? I can't handle staying in the relationship with my AH anymore.
I could not stay any longer and left when he was down. No guilt and my life is better today by leaps and bounds.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:28 PM
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Thank you all again. I actually did go to an Al-Anon meeting last night and it was great, even though I started crying during my "share" and could hardly stop for the rest of the meeting. Everyone was very nice and supportive, and I am definitely going back. It was so different from the horrible meeting I went to this summer, the one I hated so badly I didn't go back to Al-Anon until it got really bad again (now). I'm going to try another meeting tomorrow as well, same location, many of the same folks.

I did read "Codependent No More" a month ago or so, but I feel like I need to read it again since I am obviously still being codependent.

I also need to stop checking his email to see if he's read my emails about his bills going to collection, his unemployment paperwork, his maxed out credit card...and stop checking the card to see if he's used it. I am still obsessing and so worried about him.

My semester just ended and I have about a month before school starts again. Now that I have the time, I am going to try so hard to concentrate on myself. I'm going to try. But as soon as I turned in grades today and the semester was really officially over, I felt so depressed because now I know I have to deal with all of this.

Thank you all again for the support.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by phlegmatic View Post
I felt so depressed because now I know I have to deal with all of this.
Yeah, there's the rub.

Once you remove the pain from the relationship, then you have the pain that was underneath all that to deal with, and the pain of ending the relationship.

But it gets better.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sailorjohn View Post
Yeah, there's the rub.

Once you remove the pain from the relationship, then you have the pain that was underneath all that to deal with, and the pain of ending the relationship.

But it gets better.
Exactly! Now I am looking back at all the crappy things he did over the past few years and am getting angry, I'm sad about ending the relationship, everything. Grrrr.

I went to my therapist today, am going to another Al-Anon meeting tomorrow, then to a friend's house the next day...trying to stay busy and do things that help me.

I have decided to call him after the new year to have "the talk" unless he calls before then and wants to do it. I weighed the guilt I'd have over doing it now vs the pain of waiting, and I chose the pain of waiting as the lesser of two evils.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:22 PM
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I just talked with AH and it went really well. He is doing well where he is, and we talked about why our relationship hasn't/doesn't work, and probably won't work even if he's not drinking. He is getting healthy and sounds good. This is like a dream come true. We are going to talk again soon and I hope that things continue to go like this. Amicably, healthy, sane. I hope. Wish me luck.
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by phlegmatic View Post
I just talked with AH and it went really well. He is doing well where he is, and we talked about why our relationship hasn't/doesn't work, and probably won't work even if he's not drinking. He is getting healthy and sounds good. This is like a dream come true. We are going to talk again soon and I hope that things continue to go like this. Amicably, healthy, sane. I hope. Wish me luck.
Harumph. That was wishful thinking. I called AH today because I thought things had gone so well in our last conversation that we could start talking like two friends instead of like one person who wants to come home and one person who doesn't want the other to come home.

I asked how he was feeling since our last conversation, and he said "melancholy" and didn't want to talk further. I didn't really want to talk about "it" today either, but I was disappointed to hear that he was apparently not on the same page as me with the whole end of the relationship thing.

I said we do need to talk soon about "the relationship" and about money, and we are going to talk in a week.

So I'm posting here instead of calling him back to try to make things better. I thought he was doing well. I was doing well. I was happy because I thought he was better! And I know I should not base my happiness on his happiness. Grrrrr.
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